Fluctuations in the intensity of the weather caused Q2 to experience the fastest times of the three segments, but nevertheless went down to the last descents of the third quarter as the water flowed from a late rain in Q2 .
Hamilton held first place before the final races, but was under significant pressure from Verstappen, who saved two big oversteer clicks on turns 6 and 8 on his last flight lap, but could not record an outgoing slide from the penultimate turn.
Although the Red Bull driver managed to avoid a full 360, his chances of pole were reduced and Hamilton improved in any case his best time in Q3 to 1m19.273s to finish at 1.216s without fault.
Sainz came in third to take his best starting career spot in F1, Bottas ranking fourth despite his best time in Q3 at death.
Esteban Ocon took fifth place for Renault ahead of Lando Norris, who will lose three places on the grid for his penalty in FP1 for overtaking under the yellow flag.
Alex Albon finished seventh in the second Red Bull ahead of Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri, Daniel Ricciardo ninth.
Sebastian Vettel rounded out the Q3 riders in another disappointing qualifying demonstration for Ferrari.
Behind the top 10, Charles Leclerc became the second Ferrari driver in a week to be eliminated in Q2 because he could not improve his last laps in the intermediate segment.
Leclerc had indicated that he wanted to stay on his first wet Q2 when it came to putting a new set for the last races, but when he came in the rain intensified and few pilots managed to improve their time late.
Leclerc was told to push throughout his last races, but his last lap was 1.3s from his best time in Q2 and he will start 11th – as Vettel did a week ago.
George Russell will start 12th in F1 career by putting Williams in Q2 – which he did not do once in 2019 – with a late fast race on new wet in Q1.
Russell then made a solid effort early in the second quarter, which helped him maintain his high position on the grid, as the rain that thwarted Leclerc also frustrated Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen.
Stroll looked like he could improve his last race, but after a good start, his last lap slowed down as he went, then running wide at the end of turn 9 cost him and he will line up P13.
When Q1 started, Vettel went to the queue to get out of the pit lane when the delayed session finally started and it was an evolving order as the pilots explored the dip track.
Hamilton was the fastest in the first segment, which ended soon after Antonio Giovinazzi spun as he crossed the curbs at the exit of the penultimate corner, entering the barriers at the last corner .
He managed to clear himself from debris that fell on the straight line from the pits and finally stopped as he approached turn 4 – where Hamilton and Albon clashed in the final stages of the Austrian GP over the weekend last – which means that the red flags were shown.
This means that few drivers have been able to improve on new wets, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez leading those eliminated in Q1 – the latter being the most prominent outing after finishing Friday with the third best time of the day.
Unlike Russell, Nicholas Latifi, who skated on the gravel in turn 6 halfway through the first quarter, could not improve his new wets when the red flags came out as the final turns approached and he will start 18th accordingly, before Giovinazzi.
Romain Grosjean did not set a time in Q1 after starting at turn 4 on his outside lap – just ahead of Vettel’s first lap in the segment – and he reappeared after returning to the pits after this incident.